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July, 2017


U.S. Millennials Outvoted Baby Boomers In 2016 Election

Millennials And Gen-Xers Outvoted Boomers And Older Generations In 2016 election

University at Buffalo voting booth

Baby Boomers and other older Americans are no longer the majority of voters in U.S. presidential elections.

Millennials and Generation Xers cast 69.6 million votes in the 2016 general election, a slight majority of the 137.5 million total votes cast, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, Boomers and older voters represented fewer than half of all votes for the first time in decades. The shift has occurred as Millennials accounted for a growing share of the electorate and as those in the Silent and Greatest generations aged and died.

Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 in 2016) reported casting 34 million votes last November, a steep rise from the 18.4 million votes they cast in 2008. But, despite the larger size of the Millennial generation, the Millennial vote has yet to eclipse the Gen X vote, as 35.7 million Gen Xers (ages 36 to 51 in 2016) reported voting last year.

It is likely, though not certain, that the size of the Millennial vote will surpass the Gen X vote in the 2020 presidential election. The Millennial generation as a whole is larger than Gen X (both in absolute size and in the number of birth years it spans). In addition, the ranks of the nation’s Millennials are growing faster than older generations due to immigration, which is likely to be accompanied by increased naturalizations. As a result, Millennials are likely to be the only adult generation whose number of eligible voters will appreciably increase in the coming years.

In addition, while voter turnout is difficult to predict, the general pattern is that as a generation ages its turnout rate more closely matches that of the next older generation. Consequently, the difference in turnout between Millennials and Gen Xers is expected to narrow in 2020 (63% of Gen X eligible voters reported voting in 2016, versus 49% of Millennials).

The ascendance of the Millennial vote is noteworthy because Millennials are more likely to be self-described independents, but they also are more Democratic than older generations in their political preferences.

Among Millennials, 44% were independents in 2016, compared with 39% of Gen Xers and smaller shares of Boomers (31%) and members of the Silent Generation (23%). At the same time, Millennials lean to the Democratic Party to a much greater degree than other generations.

In 2016, 55% of all Millennials identified as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, while just 33% identified as Republicans or GOP-leaning independents. By comparison, 49% in Generation X, 46% of Boomers and 43% of members in the Silent Generation identified with or leaned Democratic. And on issues such as marijuana legalization and same-sex marriage, Millennials take more liberal positions than those in older generations.

Continue Reading…….


[Source: BY  / Pew Research Center ~ -/- Media Relations]
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The ‘World Aquatic Championships’ In Budapest Attracted 485 Thousand Spectators

Almost Half A Million Spectators At Five Venues

Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest at night

Almost half a million, 485 thousand spectators viewed the events of the World Aquatic Championships at five venues in Budapest and Balatonfüred, Minister for National Development Miklós Seszták, President of the Organizing Committee of the World Championships which finished on Sunday said at a press conference held on Monday in the Duna Arena.

The Minister for National Development highlighted: more than 400 thousand visitors attended the supporter zones set up on Margitsziget (Margaret Island) and next to the Duna Arena. The venue on the island reached its full capacity in terms of spectators five times in two weeks, and during the men’s water polo final between Hungary and Croatia held on Saturday, not only the MAC sports field, but also the entire Margitsziget area had to be closed down.

“A great many foreigners supported their athletes at the venues, tickets were sold in the hundreds of thousands, primarily to Brits, Germans, French and Americans”, Mr Seszták said.

Mr Seszták cited the hich hotels in Budapest were fully booked, the average occupancy rate was in excess of 90 per cent during the two weeks of the World Championships, and meanwhile the average prices of rooms increased by 200 per cent.

“Two thirds of the guests specifically came to see the World Championships during this period, and they stayed four times longer than the average stay, for more than nine days”, Mr Seszták said who highlighted regarding the survey that on a scale of one to ten, the satisfaction indicator was 8.73, the sense of security averaged 8.84, and 66 per cent of foreign guests are planning to come back to Hungary.

The Minister for National Development drew attention to the World Masters Championships to begin on 7 August to which 11,711 attendees have been accredited, including 9,378 athletes, with a contingent of 6,501 swimmers, and 125 teams enrolled for the water polo tournament.

From among the members of the Organizing Committee, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog was especially proud of the opening ceremony where „culture and sports met”.

“More than five hundred dancers featured in the production who delivered the highest standards in terms of coordination and choreography, but I should also make mention of the light and sound technologies, and I believe that few countries are capable of something like this”, Mr Balog said. He added: Budapest will host the World Junior Synchronized Swimming Championships next year and the World Junior Swimming Championships in 2019. The European championships of swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming and diving will be held in the Duna Arena in 2020 which will be followed by the World Short Course Swimming Championships in 2024.

Mayor of Budapest István Tarlós highlighted: „as a born Budapest resident, it makes me especially delighted that the delegations of more than 180 countries felt at home in our capital city”. According to Mr Tarlós, the World Championships took the reputation of Budapest and Hungary to almost every corner of the world: „thanks to the superb standard of the broadcasts, we showed the world our most beautiful features, just as we would have liked”.

Balázs Fürjes, Government Commissioner for Priority Budapest Projects highlighted that 11 new official world records were achieved in the Duna Arena.

“Not including the times when people wore shark suits, this many world records had never been achieved in the year after the Olympic Games in the history of the World Championships”, he stressed. Mr Fürjes said: this is greatly attributable to the conscious Hungarian planning which was based on the study of a London firm „as in the case of a fast pool, the depth of the water, the technology of water surface tension and the flow of the water play a major part”. According to Mr Fürjes, the Hungarian nation was forged together by the World Aquatic Championships which „we did not organise merely for the sake of the World Championships, but beyond that in view of the decades to come”.


[Source: Government of Hungary (MTI) -/- Media Relations]
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U.S. Won Contract To Supply Thermal Coal To Ukraine’s State-Owned Power Generation Company

Secretary Ross And Secretary Perry Hail New Coal Deal With Ukraine

Coal Shovel at Mine

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry welcomed the announcement from the Government of Ukraine that Ukrainian state-owned power generation company Centrenergo PJSC will purchase American thermal coal ahead of the upcoming winter season.

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross:

United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross address to employees on March 1st 2017

“As promised during the campaign, President Trump is unshackling American energy with each day on the job.  This has brought enormous benefit to our nation’s coal communities, and will now also benefit an important international partner.  Today’s announcement will allow Ukraine to diversify its energy sources ahead of the coming winter, helping bolster a key strategic partner against regional pressures that seek to undermine U.S. interests. In the past, Russia has tried to choke off opposition to its ambitions by restricting the flow of natural gas to its western neighbors. Under President Trump’s leadership, I look forward to working with Secretary Perry and others in industry and government to further expand American exports in support of our goals of keeping this country safe and promoting robust economic growth.”

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry:

Secretary Rick Perry (cropped 2)

“In today’s turbulent world, geopolitical turmoil can create uncertainty for nations without access to an abundance of their own natural resources. No one knows this more than Ukraine. In recent years Kiev and much of Eastern Europe have been reliant on and beholden to Russia to keep the heat on. That changes now. The United States can offer Ukraine an alternative, and today we are pleased to announce that we will.  U.S. coal will be a secure and reliable energy source for Centrenergo and its electricity customers. This announcement will also boost our own economy by supporting jobs in the coal and transportation industries. This Administration looks forward to making available even more of our abundant natural resources to allies and partners like Ukraine in the future to promote their own energy security through diversity of supply and source. Partnerships like this are crucial to the path forward to achieve energy dominance.”


  • Pennsylvania based Xcoal Energy and Resources won a contract to supply thermal coal to Ukraine’s state-owned power generation company, Centrenergo PJSC.
  • This partnership formed in response to Ukraine’s desire to diversify its energy supply which has historically been negatively impacted by the volatility of the governments whom they rely on for energy.
  • The United States provides Ukraine with a secure, reliable and competitive alternative energy source.
  • Multiple U.S. government agencies and offices were involved in making this deal a reality including the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce.
  • XCoal has stated that it anticipates that shipments of U.S. coal are planned to arrive in Ukraine in late August or early September, just in time to stockpile fuel for the winter heating season.
  • Note: According to a recent EIA report, U.S. coal exports have increased by nearly 60 percent in the first months of the Trump Administration.


About Xcoal

Xcoal Energy & Resources is a leading supplier of United States origin metallurgical and thermal coal to customers throughout the world. Their core business is marketing low, mid, and high volatile hard coking coals from Appalachian mining operations located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Formed in November 2003 and privately held, Xcoal has experienced rapid/steady growth. They have consistently increased annual contract tonnage and are continuously expanding their customer base of world class integrated steel producers and thermal coal customers.

Xcoal is among the largest coal exporters in the USA with shipments via ports in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and Hampton Roads, Virginia, USA.

Headquartered in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA, Xcoal also has U.S. offices in: Baltimore, Maryland, Key Biscayne, Florida, Newport News, Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and San Antonio, Texas.


[Source: U.S. Department of Commerce/Xcoal  -/- Media Relations]
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Europe – EU School Children To Receive Milk, Fruit And Vegetables

EU School Children To Benefit From Fruit, Vegetables And Milk


Children across the EU will continue to benefit from fruit, vegetables and milk at school thanks to the allocation of €250 million in EU funding for the 2017–2018 school year.

For the first time in 2017, the two so-called school schemes will be merged into one single scheme for simpler management. The aim of the scheme remains the same, however – to increase the share of healthy food in the diet of young people.

Of the €250 million EU funding agreed for 2017–2018 school year, roughly €150 million will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk. They will be used not only to provide fruit, vegetables and milk to schoolchildren but also to support learning about agriculture and healthy diets as well as information, monitoring and evaluation.

An indicative allocation of the EU funding to each Member state was made based on the number of school-age children and, for the milk, also on the previous use of EU funding.

Countries have the freedom to request less, or more if additional funding is available. This is because money that is allocated to a Member state but not requested, for whatever reason, can be reallocated to other Member States by the Commission.

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “I am very pleased that the new school scheme will be introduced tomorrow. The scheme provides valuable support to millions of European schoolchildren and thousands of farmers in every Member State. Such support has proven particularly important for farmers in recent years and the increased funding will enhance the value of this support. In addition, the new scheme meets my priority of simplification through the integration of the former school milk and vegetable schemes. Finally, I am happy to be involved with an initiative with Commissioners Andriukaitis and Navracsics to promote a healthy lifestyle and I am convinced that this scheme has a valuable part to play.”

The Commission adopted the decision fixing the definitive allocation of EU funding to each Member state (breakdown in the table below).

EU funding for school year 2017–2018

Member State Definitive allocation for school fruit and vegetables (€) Definitive allocation for school milk (€)
Belgium 3 367 930 1 650 729
Bulgaria 2 677 109 1 167 367
Czech Republic 4 082 903 1 842 407
Denmark 2 386 393 1 606 402
Germany 25 826 315 10 947 880
Estonia 565 888 732 225
Ireland 2 007 779 900 398
Greece 3 218 885 1 550 685
Spain 12 932 647 6 302 784
France 17 990 469 17 123 194
Croatia 1 720 946 800 354
Italy 21 704 956 9 261 220
Cyprus 390 044 400 177
Latvia 813 091 745 497
Lithuania 1 134 661 1 091 333
Luxembourg 343 568 193 000
Hungary 3 885 599 1 972 368
Malta 372 747 144 750
Netherlands 7 063 251 2 401 061
Austria 2 946 591 1 278 933
Poland 14 985 916 11 047 202
Portugal 3 283 397 2 220 981
Romania 6 866 848 10 865 578
Slovenia 727 411 363 811
Slovakia 2 185 291 1 020 425
Finland 1 599 047 3 824 689
Sweden 0 9 245 859
United Kingdom 0 4 219 008
Total 145 079 683 104 920 317

[Source: European Commission -/- Media Relations]
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Swedish Report – Populism In Europe Remains Strong

Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index 2017

The 2017 Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index is the only Europe-wide comprehensive study that aims to shed light on whether populism poses a long-term threat to European liberal democracies.

The Index explores the rise of authoritarian populism in Europe by analysing electoral data from 1980 to the summer 2017. As data show, Authoritarian-Populism has overtaken Liberalism and has now established itself as the third ideological force in European politics, behind Conservatism/Christian Democracy and Social Democracy. Hungary, Poland and Greece are the European countries where anti-establishment parties are the strongest.

At the same time, nine European countries (including seven EU Member States) have populist parties in government. On average, around a fifth of the European electorate now vote for a left- or right-wing populist party. In other words, 55.8 million people voted for this parties during each European country’s latest general elections.

Timbro’s Annual Index

The globally aware index of populism in Europe has been released: the Timbro Authoritarian Populism Index 2017. The index charts the successes of all populist parties in Europe from 1980 to June 2017. Since 2015, support for populist parties has been record high, and since 2010, left-wing populism is growing faster than right-wing populism.

 Popularist parties are recognized in opposition to power sharing, the idea of ​​a homogeneous people with consistent interests and irreconcilable criticism of the “elite”. They have an authoritarian view of democracy that threatens many of the values ​​that have formed the core of European democracy, “said Andreas Johansson Heinö, who has written the report.

Last year, the index was noted in the magazine The Economist, and it has also been translated into several languages, including Greek, Spanish and English.

 “Peak Populism” has become a concept for those who wanted to see the adversities of Wilders and Le Pen as a sign that the populist wave reached its peak. But today populist parties have grips with Poland, Hungary and Greece. In France, populists won more votes than Emmanuel Macron in the presidential election. In Italy, Beppe Grillo’s Five-Star Movement is the largest party in the measurements, and in Sweden, Sweden’s Democrats are the second largest in almost every measure, “concludes Andreas Johansson Heinö.

The conclusions of the report in brief

  • Authoritative populism has taken over liberalism’s place as the third ideological force in European politics.
  • The voter support for populist parties remains at record levels, but has not increased since 2015.
  • Right populism is twice as strong as left-wing population, but while right-wing population has stagnated, support for left-wing populism has doubled since 2010.
  • Hungary, Poland and Greece are still the three countries with the strongest support for populist parties. The weakest is the support in Montenegro, Malta and Iceland.
  • Antidemocratic parties are still marginalized, but have received slightly increased support over the past year.



TIMBRO is a free market ‘think tank’ and ‘book publisher’ based in Stockholm, Sweden

Their mission is to promote and disseminate ideas supporting the principles of free markets, free enterprise, individual liberty and a free society.

TIMBRO was founded in 1978 and is the largest free market think tank in the Nordic countries with approximately 20 employees. Its mission is to build opinion in favor of market economy, free entrepreneurship, individual freedom and an open society.

They publish works from classic liberal thinkers such as Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek, make policy recommendations in our reports and produce films and podcasts as well as organize educational programs for young people. Many of Timbro’s employees are frequent commentators in national and international media.

Each year They complete two studies in English: Timbro’s Populist Index, which maps the rise of populist parties in Europe, and, together with the think tank Epicenter, the Nanny State Index, which maps the level of paternalism in politics.

All of their reports that have been translated to English can be found here.

Timbro is part of the European think tank network Epicenter and has close contact with the Atlas Network in the United States.

Since 2003 Timbro has been financed by the Foundation for Free Enterprise. In 2013 the foundation received a renewed grant from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to manage the funds in a standalone and responsible way.


[Source: TIMBRO -/- Media Relations]
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Terrorists In Pakistan Generate Financing Through Charity And Welfare Work

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Pakistan’s restive northwest province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has issued directives to its administrative and security departments to make serious efforts to cut off the money supply of banned terror groups. The provincial departments have been instructed to devise a strategy to crack down and to closely monitor the proscribed groups and individuals involved in raising funds illegally… Read More

100 Years Later – Remembering The Soldiers Who Died In The World War I ‘Battle Of Passchendaele’

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The battle of Passchendaele began on July 31, 1917, near Ypres in Belgium and ended on November 6 of that same year. For the British, the battle became a symbol of the senseless slaughter of World War I. After three years of pushing through Flanders, British commander-in-chief Douglas Haig launched a major offensive for control of… Read More

US Conducted Another Successful Missile Defense System Test

Ballistic Missile Defense System Test Successful

The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test - US Army

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2017 — The Missile Defense Agency and soldiers of the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from Fort Bliss, Texas, conducted a successful missile defense test today using the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, according to a Missile Defense Agency news release.

A medium-range target ballistic missile was air-launched by an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III over the Pacific Ocean.

The THAAD weapon system, located at Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, detected, tracked and intercepted the target.

The test, designated Flight Experiment THAAD (FET)-01, was conducted to gather threat data from a THAAD interceptor in flight, the release said.

“In addition to successfully intercepting the target, the data collected will allow MDA to enhance the THAAD weapon system, our modeling and simulation capabilities, and our ability to stay ahead of the evolving threat,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves, Missile Defense Agency director.

Soldiers from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade conducted launcher, fire control and radar operations using the same procedures they would use in an actual combat scenario.  Soldiers operating the equipment were not aware of the actual target launch time, the release said.

15th Successful Intercept

THAAD missile launch on Wake Island
This was the 15th successful intercept in 15 tests for the THAAD weapon system.

The THAAD element provides a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight. THAAD is strictly a defensive weapon system.

The system uses hit-to-kill technology where kinetic energy destroys the incoming target, according to the release.

The mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to develop and deploy a layered ballistic missile defense system to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies and friends from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight, the release said.
Two THAAD launchers arriving in South Korea in March 2017

[Source: US DoD -/- Media Relations]
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King Of Bahrain Calls For Global Coordination To Counter Terrorism

Bahrain’s King Calls For Regional, Global Coordination Against Terrorism

Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa April 2016

Manama, 30th July, 2017 — His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain has called for regional and global solidarity and sustained coordination among countries of the world to counter terrorism, dry up its sources of funding and finally defeat it.

King Hamad made his remarks as he received at Al-Sakhir Palace on Saturday UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who are in Manama for a joint meeting on Qatar on Sunday.

King Hamad commended close coordination and cooperation between the four countries and their relentless efforts to combat terrorism and extremism out of the determination to support security and stability in the region, tackle problems facing it and provide protection against policies of sponsoring and financing terrorist organisations and harboring terrorists, which caused serious humanitarian crises that left hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

”The four nations have offered many martyrs in their fight against terrorism and in defense of their homelands and peoples. Our nations will continue their efforts to preserve the GCC drive from any practices that could harm its member states or have negative impact on its peoples so as to protect the Arab national security,” the King affirmed.

King Hamad also lauded efforts being made by the foreign ministers to preserve security and stability in the region.

”Bahrain is standing united with its sister countries in whatever joint measures they may take to confront challenges and risks,” he stressed.

For their part, the four ministers of foreign affairs hoped their Manama meeting would constitute an important step that contributes to consolidating their common positions and efforts.

[Source: WAM/Tariq alfaham -/- Media Relations]
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OPEC Secretary General Visits Equatorial Guinea

OPEC Secretary General Meets With The President And Prime Minister Of Equatorial Guinea

Malabo a 13-oct-01

OPEC Secretary General, HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, met yesterday with the President of Equatorial Guinea, HE Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and the Prime Minister, HE Francisco Pascual Eyegue Obama Asue, in the city of Djibloho. The meetings were also attended by the country’s Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, HE Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, as well as other OPEC officials.

The President welcomed the Secretary General and his accompanying delegation to the Equatorial Guinea and pointed out that this was in fact an historic occasion marking the first time an OPEC Secretary General had ever visited the African nation.

The President then congratulated the Secretary General on his appointment last August and commended him on his tireless efforts to help bring stability back to the global oil market despite the current challenges faced by industry. The President also welcomed the positive face of OPEC which should attract new members like Equatorial Guinea. He ensured the Secretary General of his full support for OPEC and its mission, and urged all Member Countries to remain united and “meet more often to defend our interests.”

OPEC Secretary General met with the President of Equatorial Guinea in the city of Djibloho

The Secretary General expressed his appreciation to the President for his gracious reception of the OPEC delegation and congratulated him on his country’s joining OPEC at its 172ndMeeting of the Conference on 25 May 2017.

The Secretary General briefed the President on the historic decisions taken last year at the 170th (Extraordinary) Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 28 September 2016 in Algiers and the 171st Meeting of the OPEC Conference on 30 November 2016 in Vienna, which resulted in the unprecedented Declaration of Cooperation with 13 non-OPEC countries, signed on 10 December 2016 in Vienna. Finally, he provided an update on the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC), which just concluded its fourth meeting on 24 July 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Secretary General also commended the President as “the symbol of peace, stability and prosperity” on the African continent.

The Secretary General and his accompanying delegation then met with the Prime Minister, Francisco Pascual Eyegue Obama Asue, who welcomed them on this first-ever OPEC visit to Equatorial Guinea. The Secretary General expressed his deep appreciation to the Prime Minister for the warm hospitality displayed to the OPEC delegation and said it was a great pleasure having this opportunity to visit Equatorial Guinea, OPEC’s newest Member Country.

About OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent, intergovernmental Organization, created at the Baghdad Conference on September 10–14, 1960, by Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The five Founding Members were later joined by ten other Members: Qatar (1961); Indonesia (1962) – suspended its membership in January 2009, reactivated it in January 2016, but decided to suspend it again in November 2016; Libya (1962); United Arab Emirates (1967); Algeria (1969); Nigeria (1971); Ecuador (1973) – suspended its membership in December 1992, but reactivated it in October 2007; Angola (2007); Gabon (1975) – terminated its membership in January 1995 but rejoined in July 2016; and Equatorial Guinea (2017). OPEC had its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in the first five years of its existence. This was moved to Vienna, Austria, on September 1, 1965.

OPEC’s objective is to co-ordinate and unify petroleum policies among Member Countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.


[Source: OPEC -/- Media Relations]
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‘Inter-American Development Bank’ Is Exploring Ways To Ensure Belize’s Sustainable Development

IDB, Government And Private Sector Discuss Ways To Ensure Belize’s Sustainable Development

San Pedro, Belize - Collage

Belize City, Belize– Top executives from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) visited Belize this week to discuss with key government officials and representatives of the private sector ways of deepening their partnership and cooperation to ensure the country’s sustainable development.

IDB Executive Vice President Julie T. Katzman, accompanied by IDB Country Representative Cassandra T. Rogers and Annette Killmer, a key advisor in the Bank’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development sector, met with Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow and members of the Cabinet during a three-day visit July 24-26. Also present at the meetings were Anneke Jessen, Operations Senior Advisor for the IDB’s Country Department for Central America, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic; Francisco Mayorga, Alternate Executive Director for the Central American Chair of the IDB Board; and Elvira Mendez, Junior Counsellor for Belize.

The IDB executives and specialists also participated in a high-level panel discussion, “Partners in Sustainable Development Forum” co-organized by the Bank and the Belizean government as part of a year-long celebration of the country’s 25th anniversary of IDB membership.

In her closing remarks at the Forum, which was attended by more than 70 representatives of Belize’s public and private sectors as well as civil society, Ms. Katzman emphasized the need for careful, long-term planning to ensure that the country takes full advantage of its unique reserve of natural resources, biodiversity and cultural heritage while protecting them from over-exploitation and natural disasters.

“Sustainable development is without a doubt at the core of the future of Belize, of the economy and of people’s quality of life and it is essential that everybody get this right going forward,” said Ms. Katzman. “We are focused on building lasting solutions to difficult problems that have been bottlenecks for the country. Being able to solve [those challenges] in an inclusive way that creates new entrepreneurial opportunities for people who are economically disadvantaged is the kind of solution that we are looking at to really get to the heart of what we mean as sustainability.”

It is essential, she emphasized, to work together on a comprehensive plan to reduce Belize’s vulnerability to climate change, storms and flooding, noting that for each dollar spent on risk reduction investments, it is possible to reduce up to four dollars in future losses caused by disasters.

Ms. Killmer, of the Bank’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Sector, said that 29% of the IDB’s $9.3 billion in approvals for sovereign-guaranteed lending in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016 was dedicated to projects focusing on climate change and environmental sustainability. “In Belize, where natural capital is at the core of economic and social development, mainstreaming biodiversity and integrating it in key economic sectors with measures to strengthen resilience to climate change is paramount for sustainable development,” she said during the Forum. Preservation of natural capital is vital in a country like Belize, where the tourism sector supports one in every six jobs, she noted.

The IDB strongly supports the Government’s Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy, its Coastal Zone Management Plan, and its Sustainable Tourism program, the second phase of which the Bank is currently financing. The IDB also is closely collaborating on the new master transport plan, which will increase regional competitiveness and expand the number of communities able to capitalize on the country’s tourism potential.

During their mission in Belize, the IDB delegation, accompanied by officials of relevant ministries, visited sites associated with the Sustainable Tourism Program II, financed by the IDB, including the international water taxi terminal in San Pedro, the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, as well as the Caracol archeological site. In addition to their meeting with the Prime Minister, Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Natural Resources, and Yvonne Hyde, CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, they also met with Arlene Young, director of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI).

At the “Partners in Sustainable Development Forum”, Minister Hyde gave opening remarks and the panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Elma Kay, Administrative and Science Director of the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute, included Dr. Lennox Gladden , policy coordinator for the Fisheries, Forestry, Sustainable Development, the Environment, Climate Change and Solid Waste Management Authority; Mr. Yashin Dujon, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation; Mrs. Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, President and Executive Director, Belize Association of Planners/Caribbean Planners Association; Ms. Kay Menzies, Co-Chair, Economic Development Council-Department of Public-Private Dialogue; and Mrs. Natalie Goff, General Manager, Development Finance Corporation.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives. Belize joined the IDB in 1992; this year marks the country’s 25th year as a Bank shareholder.

[Source: IDB -/- Media Relations]
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Philippine City Mayor, And 12 Others, Killed In Anti-Drug Raids

President Rodrigo Duterte speech 070116
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Manila (dpa) – Twelve people, including a city mayor, were killed on Sunday in a shoot-out with police officers during a series of pre-dawn anti-drug raids in the southern Philippines, police and local officials said. Police officers also arrested the vice mayor of Ozamiz City, about 780 kilometres south of Manila, during the raids, said Chief… Read More